April 21, 2024


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Unilever is separating its ice cream business

Unilever is separating its ice cream business

Image source, Getty Images

Unilever, the soap company that owns Marmite and Dove, plans to cut about 7,500 jobs worldwide, as part of an expanded three-year cost-saving plan.

The group also said it would spin off its ice cream business, which includes the Wall's, Ben & Jerry's and Magnum brands.

The food and household goods giant said the separation process will begin immediately and should be completed by the end of 2025.

Unilever said the change would help it “do less better”.

The job cuts, which Unilever said will mostly affect office staff, represent more than 5% of its global workforce of 128,000 employees, and it aims to save around €800m (£684m) over the next three years.

Unilever employs 6,000 staff in the UK, including producing ice cream in north-east Gloucestershire, Marmite and Bovril in Burton-on-Trent, and Pot Noodles in Newport.

The ice cream division, whose other brands include Viennetta, Carte d'Or, Cornetto and Breyers, generated sales of €7.9m (£6.75m) last year.

However, Unilever said the company had less in common with other consumer product lines because it needed a frozen goods supply chain and was more seasonal.

“Splitting ice cream and introducing productivity software will help create a simpler, more focused and higher-performing Unilever,” company president Ian McInnes said.

“It will also create a world leader in ice cream, with strong growth prospects and an exciting future as an independent business.”